‘I’m tired all the time – too exhausted to do anything a lot of the time, in which case I need to surrender to full days of sleeping and relaxing,’ said Kayla Moreno, 32.
She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) after suspecting she’d pinched a nerve in the gym.
An avid fitness junkie, Kayla was working out around five times per week when she began experiencing extreme fatigue, coupled with a tingling sensation in her feet.
Assuming she’d pinched a nerve from overexercising, Kayla, from Honolulu, Hawaii, contacted her GP who referred her to a neurologist.
But while she was waiting, the tingling sensation spread to her torso and, just days after her symptoms appeared, she was unable to walk.
She was taken straight to Southwestern Medical Centre in Lawton, Oklahoma where doctors ran blood tests on her to rule out other conditions like lupus and diabetes.
Eventually, she was sent for CT and MRI scans on her brain and spine.
Two weeks later, she was diagnosed with MS, an autoimmune condition that affects the brain and spinal cord, causing a range of potential symptoms from difficulty walking to vision loss.
‘The diagnosis was like a weight lifted off my shoulders,’ said Kayla, who found the whole experience extremely overwhelming.
‘No-one knows my own body better than me – and sadly I could feel it deteriorating.
‘I’m just thankful I’m living with MS now and not 20 years ago.’
While MS is incurable, treatment for the condition has come on leaps and bounds in the past few decades.
‘I’m finding my symptoms a bit more manageable with my medications,’ Kayla, who is now unable to work, added.
Kayla is currently taking stimulants to manage her extreme fatigue, and undergoes an infusion of the MS treatment Ocrevus every six months to slow the condition’s progression.
Today, Kayla can’t get around without a walking aid or wheelchair, though not everyone experiences the same MS conditions.
Now, Kayla is using her platform on TikTok to raise awareness of MS – and says she wants multiple sclerosis awareness month to be ‘all about positivity’.
‘If you’ve just been diagnosed, know your feelings are valid,’ she said.
‘Whether you’re sad, or angry, it’s okay to feel that way.
‘MS is life-changing and absolutely terrifying – but a positive attitude will get you a long way.
‘I don’t let my MS stop me from living life to the fullest.’
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